Khinkali are Georgian soup dumplings that bear a resemblance to Chinese xiaolongbao. Khinkali are typically filled with beef, or a mix of beef and pork, but can also have other fillings such as lamb, mushrooms, or potato. They’re eaten by holding the “handle” that’s formed with the dough while sealing off the filling, with a bit of black pepper on top. Not spilling the precious, flavorful broth is the key to success, as is sharing with guests, friends, and family. If you’re looking for a way to use ground venison other than burgers, jerky, or pasta sauce, these Venison Khinkali are great option. I recommend making khinkali in two sittings: on the first day, mix the meat, onion, and other ingredients and let them comingle; on the second, make fresh dough and fold them up.
Hearts and tongues are some of the tastiest pieces of wild game that are typically left behind. During my last elk camp; six hunters harvested six bull elk and no one wanted the heart or tongues from their bulls. I happily scavenged each heart and tongue throughout the week. Each time I asked if I could have those pieces and was met with giggles or a “You really wanna eat that?!”. Since that time I have processed and enjoyed every single bite of the hearts and tongues from those bulls, one of my favorites being these Elk Heart and Tongue Empanadas. I shared some of my dished with the hunters from that camp and they were blown away. I have been told on more than one occasion “You won't be getting anymore hearts or tongues from me, these are too good not to take home”.